June 16 - 22, 2003  
ISSUE # 24  

The Federal Budget for the year 2003-04, with an outlay of Rs805.2 billion against the projected receipts estimated at Rs626.2 billion, was presented amidst hue and cry raised by the opposition in the National Assembly. As usual the gap of Rs179 billion between income and expenditures is to meet through borrowings. The utility services, especially electricity and telephone instead of providing quality services at the enabling rates, have assumed the role of tax collecting agencies.  having a widespread economic fall out from farm to factory and kitchen of a housewife to the oven of the industrial sector.

Consequently, the government levies on the consumption of petroleum, electricity and telephone have pushed high the prices of these essential items




The GoP has announced to include polyester staple fibre in duty tax remission for export (DTRE) scheme but not to reduce duty on imported fibre. This has resolved an outstanding issue. However, only those exporters will benefit who are registered under this scheme. This may be considered an incentive for documentation.


The sudden influx of a number of Chinese products, as diversified as poultry and home appliances, has started a price war which is welcomed by customers on the one hand, and challenges for local businesses on the other. Many see the sudden influx of these much lower-priced products as a preamble to the opening of free trade under the WTO regime still 19 months away.